politics

Out: RINOs. In: CINOs. (Christians in Name Only)

Beau of the Fifth Column (not me, because even though I’m a Beau from the South, I have neither this accent nor this beard nor this way with words) eviscerates the idea of anti-Trumpsters being “RINOs,” pointing out that Trump was an independent, a Reform Party supporter and, yes, a Democrat before deciding to join and manipulate the Republican Party.

This, in and of itself, is not a new thought. Trump’s record of party-shopping and even his willingness to contort his own alleged views to suit that party is well-documented.

And while the old quote that Trump figured Republicans were idiots he could manipulate is actually fake, he clearly found that the GOP (or “Gutless Old People”) was quite malleable. Traditional conservative values like free trade, small government and standing up for democracy vs. dictators have gone out the window. A party that had gone full-bore “Tea Party” libertarian is now authoritarian.

But, again, the other Beau puts it better than I could, noting that Trump settled on the Republican Party in part because it was the one in which he could “give them permission to be their worst and it would motivate them.”

Also related to the Trump base: a story in The Atlantic (might be paywalled) noted something about the evangelicals who support Trump. As it turns out, they don’t go to church that often:

And a pearl-clutching study of evangelical opinions finds that evangelicals are (gasp!) more willing to accept LGTBQ people and accept the prospect that many roads lead to heaven, but the authors are heartened by the fact that a solid 90% of them are against fornication.

So here’s why the political landscape of the last seven years makes no sense …

While the country is getting more diverse along theological, gender and sexuality lines, a significant number of people who consider sexual morality more important than many theological issues have decided that they shall put all of their stock in a man whose attitudes on sex and marriage should be repulsive to them.

Should we still be dissecting Trump? Maybe not. That’ll be for the courts.

But this peculiar tendency is something we have to notice. State and local governments are already making things very uncomfortable for people who are more about compassion for others than condemnation of others.

And these people aren’t just RINOs. They’re CINOs as well.

politics

Jan. 6: Forget polarization. Remember heroes and villains. Enablers and cowards.

Much of this is repurposed from a Twitter thread, but I wanted to post it here for posterity. It’s also easier to read.

I’m also going to lead with people who deserve our applause: the police. One year ago, roughly 140 were assaulted, some brutally. Five officers succumbed to the physical and mental trauma of that day.

Here’s the Twitter thread, with some editing …

One year ago today, right-wing extremists attacked the very foundation of the USA.

Some (though less than the media think – we’ll get to that) believe otherwise. This thread isn’t for you. If Rove and Cheney can’t convince you, neither can I.

This thread is for everyone else.

Continue reading
politics, Uncategorized

We’ve listened to you. Please listen to us. (Part 1)

Let’s say at the outset — “we” and “us” are general terms. And no matter what the media (yeah, I’m part of it) try to shove down your throats, we’re not “polarized.” Things are much more complicated than that.

♦♦ We have evangelicals who are concerned about climate change, no matter how many evangelical preachers tell their congregations Trump is the savior and the Democrats are devils.

♦♦ We have a growing group that thinks Obama and the Clintons are too conservative, all tied to closely to Wall Street.

♦♦ Along those lines, a recent op-ed on curbing immigration was written by … Hillary Clinton.

“Left” and “right” doesn’t make much sense any more. Republicans have long ago tossed Reagan’s ideology out the window. It won’t be long before they burn down one of the two most prominent Washington-area things named after him — the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. (For more, see what Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, wrote last year.) On the other alleged pole, calling Obama and either Clinton “socialist” is a good way to make Europeans — and many educated and/or younger Americans — laugh or cry.

Cry? Let’s hang on to that for a minute.

One driving force — not the sole driving force by any means, but substantial — behind current political trends is the desire to afflict “elites.” These would be “liberals” who don’t care about or listen to anyone else’s needs.

And there’s a bit of truth to that. Have “liberals” been tuned in to people outside urban areas? Probably not.

So — point taken. “Elites” have been getting the message that they need to listen. Well, some of them. Some are clinging to stereotypes of their own, thinking Middle America is all racist and ignorant. But the 2016 election caused considerable fretting and hand-wringing that Democrats have been taking people for granted.

And in general, these “elites” you gripe about have empathy. And we’re concerned that empathy is declining.

The other thing we’re worried about is a lack of respect for facts.

That’s where we’ll start. The “elites” are listening. If you don’t mind, could we please have a turn speaking?

“Elites” aren’t who you think they are

Let’s look at the earnings in various professions. We’ll use Salary.com as much as possible for the sake of consistency. In some cases, I’ve included the “I” and “III” levels for a position to get a range of experience:

  • Chief Communications Officer: $212,300
  • Drilling Foreman: $108,100
  • Clergy: $95,800
  • Accountant IV: $91,344
  • Engineer III: $92,651
  • Engineer I: $66,655
  • Machinist III: $60,856
  • Aircraft and Power Plant Mechanic, Senior (high school education): $62,730
  • Assistant Professor – English: $58,861
  • Automotive Mechanic III: $56,700
  • Public School Teacher: $56,376
  • Plumber: $55,587
  • Carpenter: $54,423
  • Accountant I: $53,136
  • Staff Writer/Reporter III: $52,283
  • Entry Field Operator (mining, HS education): $47,700
  • Entry Geologist (mining, BA): $45,500
  • Academic Advisor: $46,102
  • Machinist I: $42,627
  • Staff Writer/Reporter I: $35,523

You may argue these professions are selective. But they should be enough to show there are plenty of “working man” jobs that are paid more than jobs that require college degrees. (And, therefore, college debt.) You can’t just assume college grads — in some cases, people with doctorates — are taking all the money you should be making.

mike

The people making money, of course, work in finance. Or they’re CEOs who make 4 zillion times more than you do.

And you don’t want to raise taxes on those CEOs? They’re the ones who are robbing you. Not college professors. Not journalists. 

What motivates college professors and journalists (and a lot of government workers who chose the public sector over private jobs that pay waaaaay more)?

Public service.

Empathy.

We’ll pick up from here …